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Poster: vapors Date: Jan 23, 2011 6:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Reel to reel question

I have only minimal knowledge about reel to reel tape. I am wondering how long on average it took to replace the reel when it ran out, and since some specifics are probably required, let’s use the example of a GD soundboard recording in early 1968. I don’t know what tape or machine was used back then, but would sure appreciate it if someone familiar with this could share their thoughts.

Basically my question is, if the tape was near the end, how much time (music) would be lost before the recording is resumed? I imagine this would be partly determined by the expertise of the tape operator, so for kicks let’s assume it was whoever recorded the Pacific Northwest Quick and The Dead tour. Thanks!

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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Jan 23, 2011 8:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

Just going by shows (mostly later than that tour) for which we have AUD patches for reel flips (and based on my memory), I'd say about 30-45 seconds to flip a reel--give or take depending on luck, dexterity, and the extent to which the tape operator's mind has been expanded.

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Poster: vapors Date: Jan 23, 2011 2:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

Thanks Lou!

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 23, 2011 10:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

Tapers doing reel-flips only required 10s of seconds to complete the reel-flipping sequence. Add or subtract 10 or 20 seconds, depending on how close to the EOT (end of tape) the current reel is. Tape reels near the EOT - when the taper decides to go for a tape-flip - get fast-forwarded to the EOT.

For tapers using reel-to-reel ATRs (audio tape recorders), it took them maybe 20 seconds longer than reel-flipping a cassette tape would take. R-R tapes had to be manually threaded onto the ATR's tape transport. These ATRs had open reels of tape. Cassette reels came inside a cassette housing. No tape threading was required.

Reel-to-Reel tape-flipping sequence for Tapers using ATRs:
(actually, the Taper is changing these tape reels, NOT flipping them)

1) Fast-forward the ATR's tape to the EOT.

2) Swap the tape reels on the ATR's reel-hubs --
-- remove the full tape reel from the take-up hub (this is the tape you just recorded)
-- remove the (now) empty reel from the supply hub, and put it onto the take-up hub
-- place the new reel of tape to be recorded onto the supply hub

3) Thread the tape

4) Engage the "record / play" transport controls

Audio cassette tape-flipping is different. It's real reel flipping! The Audio cassette tape format's tape transport ran the reels in both directions. Tapers flipped the cassette reels to "side-B" when "side-A" was full. Or, they changed it out when both sides were full.

This post was modified by dead-head_Monte on 2011-01-23 18:33:04

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 23, 2011 12:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

Actually, vapors' question opened up a couple other questions for me...
What length of time did different reels run? On cassette we're used to standard 30 or 45 (or sometimes 60) minute sides. How many minutes were most standard reels?

Also, the answers tend to be presuming it's an AUDIENCE taper flipping the reels. The question of, what if it's Bear or Healy or Kidd or whatnot, is a little different - they would obviously be expert in changing reels in record time, but because they had other things to attend to and would perhaps not even be watching the reel to see when it was ending, untold minutes could go by before they changed reels. I can think of many early shows with HUGE gaps.

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Poster: vapors Date: Jan 23, 2011 1:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

Maybe you gleaned my primary intent already, which was getting some insight into the possible timing in the missing space between the disputed Spanish pieces! But as you point out, untold minutes could have passed depending upon the attention of the taper, so I must rethink things a bit more. I may post my thoughts later in Cliff’s thread.

Changing the subject (hey at least it’s my thread this time) I wanted to ask you what you meant a while ago http://www.archive.org/post/340748/january-1968-set-list-questions regarding the 3/31 vs. 1/22 Caution/feedback/Bid You Goodnight snippet? I can’t speak on the Caution, but the rest is definitely the same recording. So much confusion!

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 23, 2011 2:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: more Jan '68 questions...

Regarding whether our 1/27 Spanish jam continues our '1/23' Spanish jam, well, anyone can listen to them back-to-back & decide... My thoughts are out there:
http://deadessays.blogspot.com/2010/06/some-1968-redates.html
I feel there was a reel change, with not much music missing. Cliff disagrees (partly due to the sonic difference). Others may have their own thoughts!

As for the 1/22 vs 3/31 confusion - that was apparently Latvala's mistake.
Charlie Miller stuck the fragment of 3/31 onto the end of 1/22 based on notes that Latvala made - it seemed to fit so well, one Caution cuts off midway, another starts midway.
But it wasn't so. My post on that is incorrect & out-of-date, now that Miller's provided his copies of the March '68 shows. The end of 1/22 is still missing, and 3/31 is really one of the Carousel shows.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jan 23, 2011 3:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: more Jan '68 questions...

I spent some more time with this last night. I don't completely disagree with the theory. Both segments certainly could be from the same performance. I'm just not convinced that they are. The theory is absolutely plausable, but there is really no conclusive evidence and several questions still remain.

The reversed stereo image hypothesis seems a bit out there to me. Do you have an explanation for how this could have occured? A 20+ minute Spanish Jam is possible, but it would be quite a bit longer than any other performance during the time period. How did vault reels get labeled BOTH 1/23 AND 1/27 with music on an official release attributed to 1/23?

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Poster: vapors Date: Jan 23, 2011 6:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: more Jan '68 questions...

As you have pointed out there is no hard evidence, but I am inclined to believe that the 97344 Spanish segment from 1/27 is a continuation from the 97343 Spanish, and thereby assume that this performance is in fact from the same set on 1/27. It seems reasonable that the singular Spanish track we have labeled 1/27 would be from the same show the if 1/23 show is actually a mislabeled 1/27, and the tape ran out and a different reel was used to record the remainder of the song (and show.) But this theory is complicated by the bonus RT tracks officially dated 1/23, as you point out.

I am no real expert in this type of audio stuff, but I have lined them up side by side in a wave program and listened closely many times, counting the beat, comparing the tone, etc. On the 4:48 track from the earlier file they flirt with the Spanish a bit and head into some feedback, before Phil kind of kicks off the jam around 3:40. If we count the Spanish as starting then that leaves one minute left, which when added to the 1/27 file which conclusively ends @ 12:10 brings it to a bit over 13 minutes, (not counting whatever is missing due to the tape change) which is comparable to the 1/17 version which gives way to feedback @ 13:10. Perhaps a bit of creative license on my part I admit, as far as the feedback element. On 1/27 it ends the show, unlike the other versions from the tour (and 2/14 and 3/30) which segue out of and into other songs or feedback. Again, that observation means nothing in of itself.

There is a noticeable difference in volume between the two files, which could be attributed to the transfer to digital (for all I know) and the 1/27 Spanish sounds a little clearer. A tape change seems like the most logical reason for a split, but how/when/where/why or even IF the tapes got split up and dated as they are is just another one of the mysteries of early Dead recordings.

Sorry to have just rambled on, providing nothing new or earth shattering, as all the versions are similar in form and execution. But I sure do enjoy listening to this stuff, and appreciate reading everything all of you have to say about it.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jan 23, 2011 6:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: more Jan '68 questions...

I too have spent quite a bit of time doing A/B analysis on these segments. I'm not sure I will ever be convinced of this one.

A paragraph in Blair Jackson's "Grateful Dead Gear" sheds a little light on this subject, though whether it suggests one or two different performances is up to interpretation...

"A few days after that first Carousel show, the band packed up their gear and headed to the Northwest for shows in Eureka (in northernmost Californis), Seattle, and Portland, Eugene and Ashland, Oregon. Mid-February and mid-March shows at the Carousel, and February gigs at a defunct bowling alley near Lake Tahoe, were also recorded with a 1/2" Ampex 4-track the group aquired (as well as 1/4" 2-track).

"We got all these tapes and they were all recorded on different machines in different cities," Healy said. "The speeds were all different and weird and variable. There would be things wrong: The performance would be going along real good and suddenly somebody would kick out a plug, or the power would go off and the performance would end prematurely..."

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 27, 2011 9:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: more Jan '68 questions...

double-recording eliminates cuts due to reel-flips

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 23, 2011 6:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: more Jan '68 questions...

Ah, nice work, all timed out! I also felt that this massive Spanish jam didn't really get going til shortly before the cut on '1/23' (after that space interlude), and that they seemed to be dragging it out quite a bit in the 1/27 fragment, knowing it was the end of the show. So that would account for the long running time.

The sonic difference is more problematic, assuming that Miller worked from DATs made straight from the Vault reels - flipped stereo channels would make sense if we were listening to multigen tapes that have been copied from tapedeck to tapedeck, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. So that will have to remain a mystery...

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2011-01-24 02:24:03

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 23, 2011 5:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: more Jan '68 questions...

Unless Lemieux were to give us photocopies of the Vault reel labels, many mysteries will never be solved...

If we have one long Spanish jam here, it would be little more than 18 minutes I think, and a big chunk of that is more like 'space'....not much longer than the 1/17/68 Spanish jam, which also ended a set.
But the rest is guesswork!

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 23, 2011 4:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

"How many minutes were most standard reels?"

Here is Owsley using 120-minute cassette tapes. Bear is taping with them for this SBD. The tapes below came from the Ampex Magnetic Tape Division.

MOTB Release: 0123 16/44.1
Release Date: 2010-06-04
Band: Grateful Dead
Date: 1969-03-28 (Sunday)
Venue: Student Center
Location: Modesto, CA
Analog Soundboard Source: Master Soundboard Cassette (MSC)
Medium Stock Brands: Master Cassette ampex c120
Taped By: Bear
Transfer By: Bob Menke
Mastering By: David Minches, Derek McCabe

Ampex manufactured a lot of magnetic tape stock for professional audio and video tape recorders. The GD used reel-to-reel Ampex tape decks for a lot of SBDs. The Betty Boards listed from 1971 to 1980 were taped at 7½ ips (inches-per-second). Higher speeds are used for Studio taping (15 and 30 ips). Lower speeds are less than "professional" quality. I have no idea what Bear and the sound crew were doing.

Now Rhino claims to have Warner Brother's 16-track tapes of all of the Europe '72 tour. That's how many hours and hours and hours of 2-inch tape? I imagine all of it is taped at 7½ ips. If these are taped at 15 ips, you should be pretty impressed.

According to Ampex, their first tape recorder was the Ampex Model 200. It revolutionized the radio and recording industries. In 1948, ABC used an Ampex Model 200 audio recorder using 3M Scotch 111 gamma ferric oxide coated acetate tape for the first-ever U.S. tape delayed radio broadcast of The Bing Crosby Show.

Les Paul, a friend of Crosby's and a regular guest on his shows had already been experimenting with overdubbed recordings on disc. When he received an early Ampex Model 200, he modified the tape recorder by adding additional recording and playback heads, creating the world's first practical tape-based multitrack recording system.

During the early 1950s Ampex began marketing one- and two-track machines using ¼" tape. The line soon expanded into three- and four-track models using ½" tape. In the early 1950s Ampex moved to 934 Charter St. Redwood City, California. Ampex acquired Orradio Industries in 1959, which became the Ampex Magnetic Tape Division, headquartered in Opelika, Alabama. This made Ampex a manufacturer of both recorders and tape. By the end of that decade Ampex products were much in demand by top recording studios worldwide. In 1959, no longer involved in producing radio shows, Crosby sold his interest in the Ampex Corporation, having played a crucial role in underwriting a technology that changed the broadcasting industry.

Ampex built a handful of multitrack machines during the late 1950s that could record as many as eight tracks on 1 inch tape. Les Paul came up with the original idea for a stacked head multitrack recorder in 1953. After being turned down by Westrex he took the idea to Ampex. The project was overseen by Ross Snyder, Ampex manager of special products. In order for the multitrack recorder to work, Snyder invented the Sel-Sync process to use some tracks on the head for playback while using other tracks on the head for recording. This allows the newly recorded material to be in sync with the existing recorded tracks. The first of these machines cost $10,000 and was installed in Les Paul's home recording studio by David Sarser.

In 1966 the 3M corporation successfully introduced the M23, the first professional 8-track recorder put into mass production. Although four-track machines were widely considered state-of-the-art until about 1966, the demand for more tracks suddenly exploded when musicians heard about the extensive overdubbing done on four-track machines for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Recording engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Townshend working with The Beatles at EMI's Abbey Road Studios also devised a primitive way to link two Studer J37 four-track machines together, but this unusual setup was used for only one song. In 1967 Ampex responded to demand by stepping up production of their eight-track machines with the production model MM-1000. Like earlier eight-track machines of this era it used 1 inch tape. Scully Recording Instruments was also briefly successful with a unique 12 track design also using 1 inch tape.

In 1968 Ampex introduced a 16-track version of the MM-1000 which was the world's first 16-track professional tape recorder put into mass-production. It used a 2 inch tape transport design adapted from the video recording division. This machine quickly became legendary for its tremendous flexibility, reliability and outstanding sound quality. This brought about the "golden age" of large format analog multitrack recorders which would last into the mid 1990s. Later machines built by Ampex starting in about 1973 would have as many as 24 tracks on 2 inch tape. By linking multiple machines together with SMPTE time code the number of tracks available could be virtually unlimited. By the late 1970s Ampex faced tough competition from Studer and Japanese manufacturers such as Otari. It withdrew from the professional audio tape recorder market entirely in 1983.

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 23, 2011 5:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

how "long" were the reels?
from WikiPedia
Reel to reel ¼"

The tape decks of the 1950s were mainly designed to use tape ¼" wide and to accept one of two reel formats:

In each case the shaft or hub had three splines. In machines designed to allow for vertical mounting, the upper part of the shaft or hub could commonly be rotated by 60° so the upper splines locked the reel in place. Some tape decks could accommodate either format by using removable hubs for the larger reel size. When in use these hubs were locked onto the cine spindles by the same mechanism used to secure the smaller reels.

Reel capacity is affected by both the reel diameter and the reel hub diameter. The standard ten and a half inch reel has approximately twice the capacity of the seven inch reel, which in turn has twice the capacity of the five inch. Some (not all) reels described as three inches are in fact three and a quarter inches in diameter, in order to have half the capacity of a five inch reel.

Long play, double play, triple play

The first commonly available increase in tape length resulted from a reduction in thickness to 35 µm, which allowed 3600', 1800' and 900' tapes to fit on ten and a half, seven and five inch reels respectively. These were known as long play tapes.

Confusingly, for a short time some equipment manufacturers also referred to 3¾ ips tape speed as long play, but this usage did not persist.

A further reduction to 25 µm resulted in double play tapes of 2400' on a seven inch reel. This and thinner tapes were not commonly used on ten and a half inch reels, as the tape was too fragile for the angular momentum of the larger reels, particularly when rewinding.

Even thinner tapes fitting 3600' on a seven inch reel and 1800' on a five inch reel were known as triple play tapes. Triple play tape was too fragile for many tape decks to safely rewind even on a full seven inch reel, and was more commonly used on five inch and smaller reels. However 3600' tapes on seven inch reels were commercially available for those who wanted them.

Professional or studio quality ¼" width tapes thinner than long play were not commercially available in either reel format. However some specialized applications, such as call logging, used ten and a half or larger reels of double play or thinner tape for extended recording times. These machines were extremely restricted in the reel sizes for which they were designed, and often had no rewind or fast forward facility at all, or even playback. These functions were instead performed on a dedicated machine in the event of playback being required.

In the days that long-distance telephone calls were expensive and often very low quality, three inch or smaller reels of triple play or even thinner tape were used for sending long recorded messages by post, most often using 17⁄8 ips tape speed. These were known as message tapes.

Reel size compatibility

Although smaller reels could be easily mounted on any machine designed for seven inch reels, in practice there were three limitations on using varying sizes of reel:

Mixing NAB and smaller cine spindle reels was rarely if ever supported, although many machines could physically mount the combination by using one hub adaptor.

Studio tape formats

As well as ¼" tape, studio and multitrack machines use tape widths of ½", 1" and 2", and at least one 3" machine was available for a time. There is also a 35 mm width.

Tapes of ½", 1" and 2" width are available in many professional formulations, especially but not only formulations of 35 µm thickness (the thickness known as long play when used as ¼" tape). The wider tape also made it possible to produce professional quality tapes of about 25 µm thickness (the thickness known as double play in ¼" applications) in ½" and wider formats.

In all tape widths including ¼", some studio machines use one-sided platters instead of reels. As normal studio practice is not to rewind immediately after recording or playing but rather to store tape with the start end in to take advantage of the even tension produced by the tape transport, tapes from these machines were generally stored on the platters even if the machine was capable of mounting an NAB reel. Other machines used NAB or custom reels in the larger width.

The sizes of platters and their hubs varies, NAB hubs being most common, and tape lengths up to 5000' not uncommon.

Compact audio cassettes

The tape in a compact audio cassette is nominally ⅛ inch but actually slightly wider (3.81 mm). The small mass of the spools and mechanism generally allows thinner tape to be used than is practical with reel-to-reel.

The thickest tape normally used in cassettes is about 16 µm in thickness, and is used in C60 cassettes and in shorter lengths such as the C46. As the standard tape speed for a compact cassette is 1⅞ ips and a C60 cassette records 30 minutes per side, a C60 cassette in theory holds 281¼' (85.73 m) of tape. In practice there is some variation, for example Maxell quote their C60s as being 90 m (295') in length.

Tape about 11.2 µm in thickness is used in C90 cassettes, and also for those intermediate between a C60 and a C90, for example the C74 produced specifically for recording a standard length CD. Most equipment manufacturers optimize their equipment for C90 cassettes but fully support shorter cassettes using either 11.2 µm or 16 µm tape.

A cassette longer than a C90, such as a C120, must use even thinner tape. Most equipment manufacturers discourage the use of these longer cassettes, partly because the tape is so fragile, and also because of the difficulty of providing optimum recording over an extended range of tape thicknesses (thinner tape is more prone to "print through" echo). However C180 and even C240 cassettes have been produced both for the consumer market and for specialized applications such as call logging.

Rumors have sometimes associated C120 and longer cassettes with double or triple play reel-to-reel tape, but in fact even C60 cassettes use tape thinner than double play and little thicker than triple play. The main thing that the longer cassettes have in common with double and triple play reel-to-reel tapes is that they are pushing similar limits of technology, and as a consequence suffer similar problems.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 23, 2011 6:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

The funny thing is, all that info still doesn't address running time!

I found this -
http://www.soundabout.net/reeltimes.htm -
and this - http://www.tapeheads.net/showthread.php?t=2325 -
which offer a bewildering variety of running times. With the different reel sizes & speeds, it looks like there were a lot more time options than with cassettes... Some of these must have been the most 'common' available options, though, just like 90m cassettes were much more commonly used than 100m tapes.

I assume most tapers kept using a standard reel size & speed, so you'd know ahead of time how many minutes you had without all the calculating... (Either that or you just kept an eye on the reel as it dwindled. Marty Weinberg was known for 'feeling' the reel in the dark to check how close to the end it was...)

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 23, 2011 7:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

SoundAbout dot Net's running time Table

Reel to Reel Tape Running Times

Reel Size
Tape Length in Feet
1 ⅞ IPS *
3 ¾ IPS *
7 ½ IPS *
15 IPS *
-
150
32mins
16mins
08mins
04mins
-
200
42mins
21mins
10mins
05mins
-
225
48mins
24mins
12mins
06mins
-
300
04mins
32mins
16mins
08mins
-
450
1hr 36mins
48mins
24mins
12mins
5"
600
2hr 08mins
1hr 04mins
32mins
16mins
-
900
3hr 12mins
1hr 36mins
48mins
24mins
7"
1200
4hr 16mins
2hr 08mins
1hr 04mins
32mins
7"
1800
6hr 24mins
3hr 12mins
1hr 36mins
48mins
7" or 10 ½"
2400
8hr 32mins
4hr 16mins
2hr 08mins
1hr 04mins
10 ½"
3600
12hr 48mins
6hr 24mins
3hr 12mins
1hr 36mins
* IPS=Inches per second
CDR
74 minutes
80 minutes
100 minutes
Not sure I would recommend 100 min discs. Not all drives support them and data is very compressed on the disc which can't be good for accuracy.

 

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 27, 2011 9:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

double-recording eliminates cuts due to reel-flips

The above is linking to a lengthy posting of mine. I explain the concept of Double-Recording. This approach eliminates cuts in tape recordings by providing overlaps. Examples are provided for you.

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Poster: vapors Date: Jan 23, 2011 11:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

I didn’t think anyone in the GD was taping on cassettes in January 1968, or were they?
And does an open reel tape have only one recording side, as opposed to a cassette which has two?

My dad had a small reel to reel he used for dictation in the mid 60’s that I had loads of fun playing with when he’d let me.

This post was modified by vapors on 2011-01-23 19:50:17

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 23, 2011 11:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: William Tell's IMPORTANT follow up?!

See parent post
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Poster:William TellDate:January 23, 2011 10:29:52am
Forum:GratefulDeadSubject:Re: IMPORTANT follow up?!
Thx, Monte; I had less exp with "real reel-to-reel", and always went to a new one, since even in the 70s, tape expense was not an issue when I using a Uher or Ampex or what have you (I considered the tape cheaper than the "essence" of what I was doing).

So, for my self-congratulatory "less than 10 sec" it was in essence because I never flipped a real r-r tape, but put in a new one...

We were always worried about "bleed thru", playing the tape both ways on both sides (and the inherent, though subtle changes in the tape due to both running it thru and recording/playing it, etc.).

To me, I know the boys were under dire fiscal limitations initially, ie, 65-71, BUT I always thought that this meant their primary purpose in recording WAS NOT initially to produce the "vault", but for practicing/playing to learn/etc, if you follow?

We've had threads about this before, but personally, wondering what you take on it is: do you think they didn't worry about tape flips, and didn't just buy more tapes, because they weren't initially motivated to creat a pristine set of permanent recordings?

This would explain recording over shows, not worrying about losses of 10-30 sec, etc., etc.

Just curious...

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 23, 2011 12:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: William Tell's IMPORTANT follow up?!

Yeah, Bear was taping only for practical purposes, and they probably had no concern about tapeflips at all.

My understanding about cassettes is that they were cheaper than reels (I could be mistaken?), which is why often Bear taped on cassettes rather than reels. (And, as we know, he often used 120-minute cassettes, so the practicality of 'fewer flips' was a higher priority than SQ.)

But it's somewhat remarkable that often in '69 he'd be double-taping shows on BOTH cassette and reel. Which is the mark of a true obsessive-compulsive, since Bear was not the type to be making lots of copies of shows for people... (That habit came in around '71/72, when Betty and Kidd started making tapes, and would make many copies for band & Family members.)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 23, 2011 12:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: William Tell's IMPORTANT follow up?!

Hey Monte--thx for ALL of that; you are a frickin WIZ-KID at this shit (though of course, it captures all my sp errors; har, har). Wondered for a moment "hmmm, what happened to my question to DHM?" and then thought this might be what was going on...and then, you saved it.

Very thoughtful.

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 23, 2011 11:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

Compact Cassette - source, WikiPedia

250px-Tdkc60cassette.jpg

"In 1962 Philips invented the compact audio cassette medium for audio storage, introducing it in Europe in August 1963 (at the Berlin Radio Show), and in the United States (under the Norelco brand) in November 1964, with the trademark name Compact Cassette.

Although there were other magnetic tape cartridge systems, the Compact Cassette became dominant as a result of Philips' decision in the face of pressure from Sony to license the format free of charge. Philips also released the Norelco Carry-Corder 150 recorder/player in the U.S. in November 1964. By 1966 over 250,000 recorders had been sold in the US alone and Japan soon became the major source of recorders. By 1968, 85 manufacturers had sold over 2.4 million players.

In the early years, sound quality was mediocre, but it improved dramatically by the early 1970s when it caught up with the quality of 8-track tape and kept improving. Cassette went on to become a popular (and re-recordable) alternative to the 12 inch vinyl LP during the late 1970s."


IA search for "cassette" in GD collection Jan 1 - Dec 31, 1968
-- it's sorted by date... I see cassettes used in late Dec
-- ask Charlie... imo, he would have some information
-- Bear made some early vintage GD cassette recordings
-- my posting about Sony portable cassette recorders, and what I taped with



This post was modified by dead-head_Monte on 2011-01-23 19:15:29

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 23, 2011 1:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

I recorded over many of my tapes. I gave away lots of my live music recordings that I no longer have copies of. It's not uncommon for tapers in the early days to do some of this. Sometimes the sound sucked. Sometimes the music sucked. Jerry Moore claims his first tapes were June 10, 1973 GD at RFK Stadium. My first tapes were June 9 (and June 10) at RFK Stadium. He said his recording sounded crappy at the time, and he recorded over his 6/10/1973 tape with a NRPS show a couple of months later. My tapes from GD at Roosevelt Stadium in 1973 sounded crappy overall to me, compared to what's circulating today. So I refuse to circulate them now. Some people would hate me if I circulated them now. Yet Jerry Moore's tapes from July 31, 1973 sounds better than my tapes that night. He taped his FOB on a crappy Sony TC-110. I taped mine FOB on a state-of-the-art Nakamichi 550. I had a RE-15 mic mounted on a 10-foot pole - causing Hell's Angels to confiscate my tape at the end of the show.

On the other hand, I think Bear's early vintage GD cassette recordings were AUDs? He used a stage mic if I'm not mistaken? They sound pretty good. I'm thinking these were for utility - to monitor, on tape, how was the PA sounding? Then you have split feeds: some tapes are Betty Boards; other tapes are SBDs. We have 2-track, 4-track, and 16-track tapes. (perhaps some 8-track and 24-track tapes?) Everything needs reel-flipping. We have cuts. Add to that, 40 years later, and we have some tape damage to cut.

Then consider maintaining a tape library (or vault). It goes on and on. Labor and tape costs go up and up. Storage space can be expensive. Add to this, Video Taping in the early era...

Bluegrass Alliance - my lost videotapes from 1976 - with Vince Gill. Monte is seeking a copy of this VideoTape - for The Internet Archive. We taped it over two Sunday nights in springtime 1976 at WDRB-TV in Louisville. I was working there as a video tape operator. We used a Peavey audio board and some mics that were borrowed from the guy who owned Far-Out Music in New Albany, Indiana. We only had one TV camera in the WDRB studio. On the first pass, we shot the close-ups. Then we set the camera up on a wide shot and played the tape back for the second pass. The band lip-synched to the taped audio during this part. We faded between the tape and the camera's live-shot on our Grass Valley video switcher.

WAKY disc jockey Tom Dooley was the host of the show. He had really long, full curly hair and a beard. The second week he showed up with short hair. So we had to do the intro at the top, and some disolves (fade-ins and fade-outs), a second time. We didn't set up the questions for the interview ahead of time. Every time he asked one of the players a question about the band, they referred him to Lonnie. The songs were recorded on individual 2" tapes.

I ran audio, and I video taped it. Then I used the remote-control edit package they had installed for 2 of their 3 RCA 2-inch quadruplex video tape recorders. I did some very simple "video-only" insert-edits into the master tape. We ended up with a faked-out 2-camera shoot. This 60-minute program aired on WDRB-TV in Louisville in 1976, probably in May.

I am looking for a copy of this tape. I called WDRB-TV (Fox) over a year ago, and discussed this with them. One guy, who claims to have been there since the late 70s, swears to me that this tape doesn't exist in their tape library or their archives. It vanished! They probably recorded over it, since a 1-hour reel cost about $200 back then.

When I was a soundman from 1975 to 1977, I recorded practically every show. Plus I recorded AUDs of other bands, SBDs of others, and some interesting special projects. Maintaining a large audio tape collection can get expensive. Circulating tapes is a whole other issue that's complicated.

In hindsight, I conclude that the GD family were unselfish visionaries about taping. Now, let's take another look at them.

Owsley "The Bear" Stanley & Jerry Garcia

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Betty Cantor is an American Beauty

"Jerilyn Brandelius and sound wizard Betty Cantor Jackson"
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the benchmark workhorse analog recorderAmpex ATR-102
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Ampex ATR 100 brochure

The Crew

Steve Parish, Ram Rod, Harry Popick, Betty Cantor-Jackson, Bill 'Kidd' Candelario & John Hagen
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Bob Matthews in the Grateful Dead's studio
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the recording studio's patch field bay is shown on the far left of the photo below
dual Ampex MM-1100 16-track decks are shown with an Ampex AG-440 2-track deck nested between them
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the audio DAs (distribution amplifiers) and their patch panel is to the right of the studio's patch bay
the tape decks' remote control console is in the center foreground

Regarding discussions here about Dan Healy (whom I know nothing about) "messing with the band's mix" -- ummm, I can relate to that. I was the soundman and took part in a band rebellion with Vince Gill and the Bluegrass Alliance, at The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar - Jackson Hole, Wyoming - July, 1976. I discreetly put Lonnie's fiddle playing through a phase-shifter one night during a massive band rebellion. The band revolted on-stage against him. He was the band leader. I also cut his vocal mic between songs and we had Vince Gill stealing the coveted MC spot from him. And then the band went on to play some unknown material that Lonnie Peerce never heard before, and I cut all his mics off completely.

Lonnie, John, Robert, Vince, Bob, Bill — Monte Barry was the soundman
Bluegrass Alliance band rebellion at The Cowboy Bar, Jackson Hole, Wyoming - July 1976
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Thank You Ampex!
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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 30, 2011 11:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

fwiw, 2 days ago on Jan 28, I just realized that my last Telluride Bluegrass Festival was 1985. I noticed this because Jan 28, 2011 was the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on Tuesday, January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight. I clearly remember the moment I heard about this disaster 25 years ago: where I was; what I was doing then; and what I had done the previous year.

I've mentioned once or twice that I attended several TBFs. I said my last TBF was 1986. I was wrong. Now I know it was 1985. Several times during the past couple of years, I had looked into Planet Bluegrass' Archive for past festival performers over the years at TBF. The 1986 lineup listing was missing John Hartford. I almost challenged the accuracy of the Planet Bluegrass archives. I remember seeing Hartford at my last TBF. Now everything matches up for me.

The 12th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival -- June 21-23, 1985
Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band • John Hartford • Seldom Scene • Tony Trischka and Skyline • Hot Rize • Tony Rice • Nashville Bluegrass Band • Chris Daniels and the Kings • New Grass Revival • Doc and Merle Watson • The David Grisman Quintet • Peter Rowan and Crucial Country • Mark O’Connor • Bryan Bowers • Alaska’s Hobo Jim
A guy from Boulder, Colorado put together a TV Production deal for the entire 1985 TBF. Phone calls were made to video production houses in Denver. This Project was seeking free lance staffing for the TV crew, and they needed 2 engineer Free Lancers. Challenger Productions was hired to bring their brand new TV Production Truck to TBF, from Oklahoma. (Challenger was based in either Tulsa or Oklahoma City - I can't remember which.) Their 18-wheel TV Production truck was a state-of-the-art beauty, costing approx $6 million to build.

Denver's Telemation Productions was called first. Several of Telemation's video tape operators and camera operators signed up, went to TBF 1985, and worked free lance for the Boulder TV Production outfit - running cameras and video tape machines there. Computer Image Productions in Denver was called next. Challenger was needing 2 Free Lance video engineers. Glenn Hill and Monte Barry (me) signed on. Glenn and myself traveled together from Denver to Telluride, and back to Denver. We both worked at the TBF in 1985 as free lance video engineers for Challenger Productions. We both worked full time at Computer Image Productions as video engineers during this period. I think several other Computer Image Productions guys also freelanced as video tape operators, cameramen, and production assistants there.

The Challenger Truck came into TBF equipped with 4 cameras, 4 Ampex one-inch video tape recorders - with Ampex time base correctors, Ampex ADO special effects systems, character generators, a large Grass Valley 300 switcher, Intercom systems, numerous Frame Synchronizers, and a huge Professional Audio system. Also contracted in were 3 more hand-held cameras. A 4th camera was contracted in, and it was set up on a camera Jib. So we had a very robust 8-camera shoot going. Audio for the TBF's PA system was run and staffed separately by the TBF sound crew. I believe Challenger was recording a 2-channel Audio feed from the Sound Crew's sound board. We worked shooting and recording the entire weekend for 1985 TBF. Everything was recorded on one-inch video tape -- Broadcast Quality!

WHERE THE HECK ARE THESE TAPES? Please, do not tell me they are "lost". Please, do not tell me they were "recorded over".

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jan 30, 2011 11:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Hey Monte....

I'm sure you're aware of this, but if not...

http://www.johnhartfordmemfest.com/

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 30, 2011 11:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Hey Monte....

Thanks, friend. I did not know about the John Hartford Memorial Festival.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 23, 2011 12:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

[EDIT: sorry, D; as you can now read, Monte, as predicted, handled this much better...]

This post was modified by William Tell on 2011-01-23 20:24:10

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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Jan 23, 2011 8:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

Hey, Tell! While I've been delighted to read your once-again frequent contributions, whatever happened to your resolution to spend less time here? Are you like the Lindsey Lohan of LMA rehab? Or has this already been chewed over in a topic I missed?

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Jan 23, 2011 8:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

"Are you like the Lindsey Lohan of LMA rehab?" Perfect!!

Good to see you a little more active too!!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 23, 2011 10:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

Hey Lou--fair question, and yes, as Capn Cook and others noted, there was/is a DEFN air of "Brett Favre" about it (ahem, I prefer that over Lohan!).

We have covered it in MANY threads, BUT I can't seem to shake the mishandling of it all (ie, that it came off as "I am gone" when I really meant "I'll be here for FaceBook moments only").

If you happen to re-read it, in that spirit, I've stuck to "it"; I have NOT listened to ANY DEAD for > six months, and largely, I stopped "playing PM" (whatever that ever was) in the sense of checking in EVERY day, feeling compelled to welcome each newbie, compelled to attempt to moderate/mitigate/etc with various "issues" that come up here.

I think the old regulars, while enjoying a good jab at me for the whole biz (it was a bit over the top/self centered/etc), would confirm "yup, Tell is here EVERY day droning on about his pathetic life and his lizard sniffing dogs, and chatting up the ladies--there are a bunch now afterall--but he only talks about the DEAD in the past-tense, and doesn't review shows, or any of the stuff that this Forum was meant to facilitate"

I am defn posting in bursts, when the physical situation has me stuck at the puter, like right now, ice packs, heating pad, and work on the side.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Jan 23, 2011 5:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reel to reel question

Well, you're cracking me up anyway, droning about the lizard sniffing dogs etc. Sorry to hear about the leg/knee etc.

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